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Is Paraquat Weed Killer Linked to Parkinson’s Disease?

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Do you suffer from Parkinson’s disease or related symptoms after possible exposure to the weed killer known as paraquat? You may be entitled to compensation.

What is paraquat?

Paraquat dichloride, or “paraquat” for short, is a commercial herbicide so toxic that the EPA has had to issue warnings to users that “one sip can kill.” It is not a residential product that anybody can purchase from their local home and garden store for personal use. Instead, sale is limited to commercial growers. Users must receive EPA-approved training every three years to mix, load, apply, and handle herbicides that contain paraquat.

The dangers of paraquat, however, are not limited to accidental ingestion, a fatal but thankfully rare occurrence. Several studies in recent years have shown that incidental exposure to paraquat significantly increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects certain dopamine-producing neurons. This, in turn, can affect the patient’s movement, as well as non-motor symptoms, including:

  • Tremors
  • Slowed movement
  • Rigid muscles
  • Impaired posture and balance 
  • Loss of automatic movements, such as smiling, blinking, or swinging arms when walking
  • Slurred, hesitant, or monotone speech 
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of sense of smell 
  • Cognitive impairment

How are people exposed to paraquat?

Users are exposed to paraquat when they handle the herbicide. Even if they take the necessary precautions, however, other farm workers and nearby residents can be exposed to paraquat through the air. Paraquat can also be transferred onto farm workers’ clothing, finding its way into peoples’ homes, where it can wind up on furniture, on carpets and in laundry hampers. It puts entire communities in farm country at risk.

Which herbicides contain paraquat?

Paraquat is found in many commercial weed killers, including but not limited to:

  • Gramoxone
  • Cyclone
  • Cyclone Star
  • Firestorm
  • Helmquat
  • Parazone
  • Quick-Quat
  • Purgatory
  • Willowood Paraquat
  • Bonedry
  • Blanco
  • Devour
  • Para-Shot 3.0
  • Ortho Paraquat
  • And many others

Many countries, including those in the European Union, China, and Brazil are either phasing out its use or have banned it completely. Yet here in the United States, the use of paraquat in on the rise. In October of 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency approved paraquat for continued use. This means that the people who help put food on America’s tables remain at an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.

If you or a loved one live or work on a farm that used week killer containing paraquat, and has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s or similar symptoms, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Call Brown & Crouppen at 1-888-520-7077 for your free legal consultation or save time with our online form.

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